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Mississippi Statute of Limitations on Debt

George Simons | December 02, 2022

Summary: Are creditors coming after you in Mississippi? Find out how to make a defense using the statute of limitations.

Each state in the US has a statute of limitations on debt. This statute indicates the time a debt collector has to file a debt collection lawsuit against you. If the debt collector files a lawsuit outside the statute of limitations, the lawsuit will be considered unlawful and the debt null and void.

Statute of limitations on debt in Mississippi

The statute of limitations on debt in Mississippi varies depending on the type of debt.

Here are some examples of Mississippi's statute of limitations on certain debts:

  • The statute of limitations for debt created due to a deficiency claim is one year following the sale of the initial collateral item(s).
  • The statute of limitations of construction liens is one year from the filing date.
  • The statute of limitations for contracts and promissory notes is three years.
  • The statute of limitations for open accounts (debts) is up to three years from the initial due date stated in the given account.

From the examples above, it is safe to conclude that the statute of limitations on debt in Mississippi is three years.

Mississippi Statute of Limitations
on Debt

Debt Type

Deadline in Years

Oral

3

Debt on Account

3

Judgments

7

State Tax

10


Source: Findlaw

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Mississippi debt collection rules and practices

In Mississippi, debt collectors must adhere to certain laws when attempting to collect the amount owed. All debt collectors must adhere to the federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, which specifies things they can and cannot do during debt collection practices.

For example, the Act requires debt collectors to contact debtors via phone, mail, telegram, fax, or email during reasonable hours, generally between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. Any contact after the specified timeframe is considered illegal and may jeopardize the debt collection process if the debtor files a complaint against the debt collector.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act aside, Mississippi also follows federal debt collection laws that prohibit debt collectors from:

  • Harassing debtors through profanity, abuse, intimidation, violence, etc.
  • Threatening violence against anyone who might provide the information the debt collector requires to recover the amount owed.
  • Contacting debtors if they have formally informed the collection agency or debt collector that they do not wish to be contacted anymore or if their employer does not permit such contact at work (this request is usually submitted in writing).
  • Lying about who they are to intimidate the debtor and obtain the desired response.
  • Claiming to work with a government agency or any other agency other than who they are.
  • Taking any action that would lead to additional expenses for the debtor.
  • Dealing unethically or unfairly with the debtor.

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What happens if you ignore a debt collection lawsuit in Mississippi?

Being served with a debt collection lawsuit in Mississippi can be stressful, especially if you don't know where to start. And, as a result, some debtors choose to ignore the lawsuit, but this is not always the best option.

Ignoring a debt collection lawsuit does not mean that the debt collection agency will stop trying to recover the amount you supposedly owe. Instead, it gives the collector a good reason to convince the court to pass a default judgment against you.

A default judgment confirms that you actually owe the amount stated in the lawsuit and also gives the debt collector permission to use every legal means possible to recover the debt.

This could also mean enforcing a wage garnishment order against you.

Wage Garnishment Explained

Wage garnishment is an order issued by a court or government agency allowing your employer to withhold a certain amount of money from your paycheck and send it to your creditor to settle the debt.

In Mississippi, debt collectors can garnish up to 25% of your wages. And that's not all; some creditors are permitted to take even more!

So why is it not a great idea to let the debtor obtain a garnishment order against you? Here's why.

Debt collectors make a lot of computing mistakes when calculating the amount of debt owed. For example, an incorrect social security number or name could be enough to change the entire debt structure, leaving you with debt you don't owe.

So if you choose to ignore the debt collection summons because you are not ready for litigation, you may end up paying more than what you owe. For instance, if you believe you owe $10,000 but ignore the lawsuit that claims you owe $15,000 due to a computing mistake, the garnishment order will give the debt collector legal permission to recover the full $15,000 even if the extra $5000 was due to a computing error.

The same also applies if you believe you paid the debt in full and have no reason to respond to the lawsuit. Without proof that the debt has been paid, the court may decide to award the collector full permission to recover the debt through every legal means possible.

In short, ignoring a debt collection lawsuit in Mississippi might seem like the easiest option but carries some serious consequences.

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How to respond to a debt collections summons in Mississippi

In Mississippi, you have 30 days to respond to a debt collections lawsuit. The countdown begins from the moment you are served with the summons.

However, it is important to note that the 30-day period may also include times that the court is closed, such as federal holidays or weekends. However, if the deadline (30th day) falls on any of those days, the deadline will be pushed forward to the next business day the court is open.

The steps to respond to a Mississippi debt collections summons are pretty straightforward but also have a lot of limitations. For example, you must adhere to strict deadlines, assert affirmative defenses, send a copy of the Answer document to the court and another to the plaintiff.

This whole process can be overwhelming, especially if you're doing it for the first time. But, for best results, you can use SoloSuit to draft an attorney-approved Answer document in three easy steps. SoloSuit is a legal web application that creates answer documents for individuals sued over debt across the United States, including Mississippi, increasing their chances of obtaining a favorable outcome.

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.

How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.

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